King's College London

Research portal

Precarity and the Pandemic. COVID-19 and Poverty Incidence, Intensity, and Severity in Developing Countries

Research output: Working paper/PreprintWorking paper

Original languageEnglish
PublishedJun 2020

Publication series

NameWIDER Working Paper


  • wpWIDER_2020-77

    wpWIDER_2020_77.pdf, 2.86 MB, application/pdf

    Uploaded date:03 Sep 2020

King's Authors


This paper makes a set of estimates for the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on poverty incidence, intensity, and severity in developing countries and on the distribution of global poverty. We conclude there could be increases in poverty of a substantial magnitude—up to 400 million new poor living under the $1.90 poverty line, over 500 million new poor living under the poverty lines of $3.20 and $5.50. Further, the global income shortfall below each poverty line could expand by up to 60 per cent; the daily income losses could amount to $350m among those living under $1.90 per day and almost $200 million among the group of people newly pushed into extreme poverty. Finally, we present country-level poverty estimates that show the location of global poverty is likely to shift towards middle-income countries and South Asia and East Asia. Our estimates are indication of the range of potential outcomes. If anything, our estimates show the extent of precarity in developing countries and the fragility of much poverty reduction to any economic shock.

Download statistics

No data available

View graph of relations

© 2020 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454